Over the weekend, the Ulrich Museum of Art opened their 19th Faculty Biennial.
On display are works from 20 faculty members from the WSU School of Art and Design. Both adjunct and tenured faculty alike give a sampling of their studio work.
Painting and drawing instructor Kathryn Van Steenhuyse offers two large paintings on unstretched canvas. These works charm viewers with an honesty and awkwardness that only a deft painter can make look effortless. And with titles such as Come On In, it is difficult to turn down the invitation.
Assistant professor of printmaking Humberto Saenz presents a colorful wall arrangement of serigraph hammers titled Macillo. Looking to empower visitors with knowledge of Mexican immigration issues, the specific style of hammer he uses resonates with both Western mythologies and current immigration concerns. The result is a work that ultimately contends with hybrid identities and struggles of immigrant communities.
And there are so many more.
Faculty shows are always great for students because they get to see a different side of their instructors – perhaps one that is quite relatable since their professors are artists… searching, playing, critiquing and questioning the world around them just like they are.
For the community, we get to see the professional studio work of the teachers that are cultivating the next generation of artists. And, of course, the undeniable nature of a Faculty Biennial is to flex of a bit scholarly muscle for the community - to show off a bit – and, I’ve got to say, I’m impressed.